Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er 2009 Review

I test rode the Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er 2009 model today at a Trek/Fisher demo bike opportunity at Raccoon Mountain down around Chattanooga, TN. Let’s just say I loved it. I also rode a Fisher Superfly, which is a hardtail 29er and a Trek Fuel EX. It was a great day.

The first bike I rode was the full suspension Trek Fuel EX. A 26 inch full suspension bike was what I originaly thought that I was going to buy. I mounted the Fuel and took it for a ride around the trails. After years of riding a hard tail it was tough getting used to riding a full suspension up the hills. It felt awful. Conversely the downhills were amazing. I zipped around the trails faster and more comfortable than I ever had. I loved the full-suspension on the downhills but I like to climb and riding up the hills was a bit disappointing.

I came back to the trailer and told the Trek guy about my experience and he said that I had to try out the Superfly. It is a 29er hard tail. I mounted it, rode off and immediately loved the way it rode. I like the added height the bike seemed to give. I hit the trail and took off down a hill and immediately missed the full suspension, but liked the downhill experience much better than my old hard tail. The 29 inch wheels really seemed to give the bike more give and the handling was superb. Then the trail turned up and I found it to be incredible. The big wheel just rolled over everything, roots, rocks, ruts, with ease. I found that I did not have to finesse my way up the hills as much as simply bowl over the terrain. It climbed better than anything I have ridden on the trails. I knew right then that I wanted a 29er. But it still wasn’t as plush as the full-suspension Fuel on the downhills.

I came back with a smile on my face and told the guy I loved this 29er bike. I came with the intention of wanted a full-suspension bike and am leaving with the desire for another hard tail. He smiled and said I need to ride the HiFi Pro. Full-suspension 29er. The best of all worlds. He knew what he was dong leading me down this path. I hopped on with a lot of hope that I had found my perfect bike. The ride over to the trailhead was familiar as riding the big wheels on pavement feels good. I came to the top of the trail and dropped in and immediately loved the full-suspension feel. It felt like the goodness of the Fuel but with the added rugged handling of the 29er tires. The Fule is a bike built for finesse. The 29er is simply a tank. Oh it’s light enough but you feel like you can roll over anything with those big wheels. The climbing was great. It wasn’t as perfect as climbing with the 29er hardtail but it was equal to or better than any 26 inch hard tail bike I’ve ridden. Again you just roll over whatever gets in your way. You don’t have to dodge around and weave and finesse your way up a tough trail. I knew this was the bike I would spend my hard earned and long saved money on. I loved the way it handled, braked, shifted…everything about the bike.

Riding home from Raccoon Mountain I wondered why anyone would ever want a little 26 inch bike. I knew that I wouldn’t. I will never go back to a 26 inch bike.,

I really enjoyed my day down there riding those top of the line bikes. Anytime one of those demo bike days come up you should take the opportunity to check it out. You probably won’t be getting a chance to ride such high level bikes from your bike shop as they are just too expensive to stock. I rode about $17-18,000 worth of bikes today. It was a blast.

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